We traveled to Clyda Rovers last Monday night to take on the hosts in round four of the league and after a hard hour of football we came away with an excellent win against a very well drilled Clyda team who played a very fast passing brand of football. We knew that this would be our toughest test to date as Clyda are an excellent football club with there first team playing senior football and able to mix it with the best in the county at that grade.
Clyda started the stronger and had two points from play inside the first five minutes and they looked dangerous when they went forward. On the night we saw a constant drizzle of rain throughout the game which made it very hard for both team to play fluent football. We had our first score of the game when a great move involving Brendan Hayes, Rob McHugh and Kenneth Barry saw Paul Burke blast the ball to the net from close range to see us lead by a point.
Clyda who played the short passing game to great effect in the first half were to draw level from the next attack but we got back on top after this when Eoin McHugh combined with Haulie Burke who in turn set up Alan Sheedy for a brilliant score from a tight angle. We lost the services of Eoin McHugh after this with injury and he was replaced by Shaun Cronin who slotted in at wing forward.
Clyda had a few narrow misses over the next few minutes but they got point number four from a close range free after twenty minutes. This put them back on level terms but our boys surged up field and created some good chances of their own and Jerome Fitzgerald after a great run was very unlucky to see his effort from the wing drop just short in to the Clyda keeper. Sean Lynch from play and Vincent Burke from a free saw their efforts sail inches wide and Kenneth Barry had a great chance of a goal but his shot was also wide.
Clyda had their fifth point of the game to hold a narrow lead with half time approaching but thankfully we were able to answer when Vincent Burke played a pin point pass into the square and Kenneth Barry pointed. We were unlucky to lose Paul Burke to another injury shortly before halftime and he was replaced by Barry Sheedy who was playing his first game for the red and black for over four years. We look forward to having Barry back full time in September when he makes a permanent return, thankfully Barry hasn’t lost any of his pace and skill on his travels in Australia and he went on to have a fine game in full forward and was a brilliant link up man for many attacks in the second half.
With the teams level at half time it was going to take a big effort for the second 30 mins to get anything from the game and again we can be thankful to our back line who were again outstanding. Our inside back line at times were under some serious pressure but corner backs Richard Burke and Brendan Hayes were very alert to any danger and played excellent football.
With regular fullback Brian Sheedy out injured the selectors put their trust in young Brian O’Reilly to fill the full back position and Brian was to have a brilliant game in his unfamiliar role and he was on hand to break up many Clyda attacks. We went point for point with Clyda for the first twenty minutes of the second half with our scores coming from Alan Sheedy, Eoin O’Regan with two excellent scores and a brilliant fisted effort from Sean Lynch.
Clyda tried hard in the last ten minutes but when they did get through on goal Stephen Donegan was on hand to nullify any danger and clear his lines. We finished the game strongly and Shaun Cronin set up Jerome Fitzgerald who was fouled going through which Vincent Burke slotted over to see us lead by a point. Over the next few minutes it was end to end but the reliable Haulie Burke made one of his trade mark runs down the wing and put over a great point from an almost impossible angle to stretch our lead to two points with time almost up.
Our next attack saw us get the insurance point when some great passing saw Colman O’Reilly set up Barry Sheedy who played a brilliant pass to Kenneth Barry in space and he pointed from close range to give us a three point lead with time almost up. Clyda had one more attack but thankfully they shot wide and from the kick out the full time whistle sounded and we had claimed a hard fought victory over a very good Clyda team.
Team: Stephen Donegan,Richard Burke, Brian O’Reilly, Brendan Hayes, Colman O’Reilly, Haulie Burke(0-1), Rob McHugh, Sean Lynch(0-1), Eoin McHugh, Jerome Fitzgerald, Vincent Burke(0-1f), Eoin O’Regan(0-2), Paul Burke(1-0), Alan Sheedy(0-2), Kenneth Barry(0-2) Subs: Shaun Cronin for Eoin McHugh inj, Barry Sheedy for Paul Burke inj, Brian O’Regan, Dave Twomey.